Pep Guardiola believes Manchester City must win the Champions League to be considered one of the competition's great clubs.

The City manager also vowed it should not be considered "a disaster" if his team miss out on European success during his tenure, yet he can now sniff glory after the last-16 victory over mighty Real Madrid.

With LaLiga's champions ousted, and Serie A winners Juventus also eliminated, every team through to the quarter-finals will sense a genuine opportunity.

Lyon, the team that edged past Juve on away goals, are next in City's crosshairs, with their meeting scheduled for next Saturday in Lisbon.

Guardiola says he "would love" to bring Champions League glory to City, having missed out with Bayern Munich after achieving 2009 and 2011 successes while in charge at Barcelona.

He recognises that although City are becoming part of the competition's establishment, there is still a next step they have to take.

"You have to lift it, this title, to be 'okay, we've got it'," Guardiola said.

"We beat Real Madrid, of course for us it's so important. We know the credit, the value, the prestige that Real has.

"They are a massive club. To compete with them, beat them twice, for this season and for the future it will be so good."

Guardiola agreed when it was suggested the rest of the tournament could feel like a World Cup, saying it would feel "quite similar".

The last eight teams standing will head to Lisbon for one-off games in each remaining round rather than two-legged quarter-finals and semi-finals.

"Now every game is a final. You are in, or you are out. We will see a final against Lyon," he said.

But Guardiola's overriding message, as he spoke shortly after his side saw off Madrid, was that Champions League success can rest on fine margins, pointing to the errors from the usually unflappable Raphael Varane that helped City fend off Zinedine Zidane's side.

Whether City experience Champions League success during his reign or not, Guardiola does not see it defining his stay in Manchester.

"I live in Manchester, and an incredible club will be my memories. This is my happiness. Of course, we are going to try. But this competition is so difficult," he said

"But I don't want to live right now being here [saying] if we don't win the Champions League it will be a disaster.

"I know what I live is great. I've met incredible people. This is my life. And is it going to change my relations because I lift a title? Honestly, no.

"In Munich, we won a lot of titles but we didn't win the Champions League. Am I going to tell you I was unhappy in Munich? No. That I don't have friends in Munich? I have many.

"We're going to put in everything. But sometimes the opponents are better. Or you get wrong decisions of the strikers, or mistakes by the defenders. It's part of the life, it's part of the process, part of football. It's little details, margins, it happens."

Juventus' elimination from the Champions League spelled the end for Maurizio Sarri and the start of a new era under Andrea Pirlo.

Despite leading the Bianconeri to a ninth straight Scudetto in 2019-20, Sarri was fired after Juve crashed out of the Champions League at the last-16 stage to Lyon on Friday.

Pirlo was at the heart of Juve's brilliant midfield during the start of their Serie A dominance, winning four Scudetti, the Coppa Italia and the Supercoppa Italiana twice during a four-year stint that ended when he moved to New York City in 2015.

A week after returning to Juve as their Under-23 boss, Pirlo was handed the reins of the first team ahead of the 2020-21 campaign.

He is not the first club legend to go back and manage a team they played for, though, and we have taken a look at the biggest successes and failures.

HITS

Pep Guardiola

After leaving Barcelona as a player in 2001, Guardiola returned as the Barca B boss in 2007 before being promoted to head coach of the first team a year later. Over four years in charge at Camp Nou he led the Blaugrana to 14 trophies, including three LaLiga titles and two Champions League crowns. Success has continued to come Guardiola's way with Bayern Munich and Manchester City.

Zinedine Zidane

World Cup winner Zidane was part of Real Madrid's 'Galacticos' in the early 2000s and he finished his playing career at the Santiago Bernabeu. Like Guardiola, he returned to oversee the second team before stepping up to the top job after the departure of Rafael Benitez in January 2016. Zidane went on to win an unprecedented three successive Champions League titles with Madrid before stepping away in May 2018, only to return 10 months later. He has already won LaLiga and the Supercopa de Espana in his second stint.

Antonio Conte

In 13 seasons as a player for Juventus, Conte won almost everything there is to win – five league titles, the Coppa Italia, the Champions League and the UEFA Cup. He moved into management two years after retiring and worked his way back to Juve after spells with Arezzo, Bari, Atalanta and Siena. Juve won three straight Scudetti under Conte – the start of their ongoing dominance – before he accepted the Italy job in 2014. Pirlo will have to get the better of his former coach Conte, now at Inter, if he is to maintain the Bianconeri's run of titles.

Roberto Di Matteo

Di Matteo accepted the top job at Chelsea in 2012, having previously been assistant to Andre Villas-Boas. Di Matteo – who won the FA Cup twice with the Blues as a player – went on to lift two trophies as Chelsea boss, including their first Champions League title with a penalty shoot-out win over Bayern Munich, but he was discarded early in the following season.

MISSES

Alan Shearer

Record Premier League goalscorer, Newcastle United legend and lethal England striker – Shearer's playing career was full of success. When he retired in 2006, Shearer moved into television as a pundit, but when the Magpies came calling in 2009 he stepped in to try and save them from relegation. Sadly for Shearer he was unsuccessful, his eight-game reign ending in Newcastle slipping out of the top flight after a 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa on the final day.

Filippo Inzaghi

Employing former players as head coaches had previously worked well for Milan – Fabio Capello and Carlo Ancelotti proving particularly successful. When the Rossoneri turned to Inzaghi in 2014 after Clarence Seedorf's brief tenure, the move was therefore no surprise. However, the former striker – who won eight major trophies at the club in his playing days – flopped, winning just 14 of his 40 matches in charge as Milan finished 10th, their worst league position in 17 years.

Thierry Henry

Henry made his name at Monaco after breaking into the first team in 1994, the forward going on to become a world champion and a Premier League icon with Arsenal. After a period as youth coach with the Gunners, Henry was named as Belgium boss Roberto Martinez's assistant. Permanent roles with Bordeaux and Aston Villa were mooted, but in October 2018 Henry chose Monaco. He lasted just three months, losing 11 of his 20 matches in charge across all competitions before being replaced by Leonardo Jardim, the man he had succeeded.

Juan Jose Lopez

One of the most decorated players in River Plate history, having won seven league titles in an 11-year spell, Lopez was a popular appointment after making a strong impact in his second period as caretaker manager in 2010. However, he subsequently presided over a poor 2011 Clausura campaign, forcing River into a play-off against Belgrano, who won 3-1 on aggregate. It was the first time River dropped out of the top tier, sparking riots which left many people injured.

Juventus and Real Madrid will fight for their Champions League futures needing to come from behind on Friday.

Madrid were ahead in their last-16 tie against Manchester City, but a Kevin De Bruyne penalty secured a 2-1 advantage that the Premier League side will defend at the Etihad Stadium.

Juve sealed their ninth consecutive Serie A title last month but stumbled towards the end of the domestic campaign.

Maurizio Sarri will look towards the prolific Cristiano Ronaldo on his favourite stage as they seek to overturn a 1-0 deficit against Lyon in Turin.

As those four sides eye up a place in the final stages in Lisbon, here are key Opta facts.

Juventus v Lyon

0 - Juventus are unbeaten in their two home European games against Lyon, winning 2-1 in the Europa League in April 2014 and drawing 1-1 in the Champions League in November 2016.

- Lyon have lost four of their past five European matches in Italy (D1 L4) since winning 2-1 at Fiorentina in the Champions League in November 2008. They are also winless in 10 away knockout games since beating PSV in February 2006, failing to score in six of those.

18 - Ronaldo has scored 18 goals in his last 12 home Champions League knockout matches, with this run including four hat-tricks. He claimed the matchball when Juve overturned a first-leg deficit at the same stage against Atletico Madrid last season.

- Since the start of last season only Memphis Depay (10) has been involved in more Champions League goals for Lyon than Houssem Aouar (one goal and six assists). The 22-year-old Aouar has as many assists as Lionel Messi in the competition during that period.

Manchester City v Real Madrid

5 - Madrid have won five of their 11 away Champions League games in England (W5 D3 L3), beating four different teams (Manchester United, Leeds United, Liverpool and Spurs). The only two teams to win away at five or more different English teams in the Champions League are Bayern Munich (five) and Barcelona (seven).

28 - Pep Guardiola has won 28 Champions League knockout matches, more than any other manager in the competition’s history. The City boss is looking to become the third manager to eliminate Madrid in the knockout stage more than once, along with Marcello Lippi (1995-96, 2002-03) and Ottmar Hitzfeld (2000-01, 2006-07).

12 - Zinedine Zidane could be eliminated from a Champions League knockout tie for the first time, having been victorious in the previous 12. Zidane has won just two of his six Champions League games against English teams.

14 - Gabriel Jesus headed City's equaliser at the Santiago Bernabeu. He has been directly involved in 14 goals in 16 Champions League starts (12 goals, two assists), finding the net in three of his four starts in the knockout stages.

Pep Guardiola has warned his Manchester City side they must put their brittle Champions League tendencies behind them as they prepare to welcome Real Madrid to the Etihad Stadium.

Guardiola has swept the board in terms of domestic honours since joining City in 2016, with this season's EFL Cup the sixth major honour of his tenure.

He has been unable to end his club's wait for a maiden Champions League title, however, with Tottenham and Liverpool ending their compatriots' involvement at the quarter-final stage in the past two seasons.

City hold a 2-1 advantage over Madrid heading into the second leg of their last-16 tie on Friday, with a place at the concluding mini-tournament in Lisbon up for grabs.

But their 3-0 defeat at Anfield in 2018, where all of Liverpool's goals came within the space of 19 first-half minutes, serves as a cautionary tale, as do the clusters of goals conceded against Monaco – in 2017 – and Tottenham when departing on away goals on those occasions.

"Yeah definitely," Guardiola told a news conference when asked whether it was a concern. "More than conceding a goal is the way we concede a goal.

"When they are brilliant and make a good action, we have to accept it.

"But most of them were goals we could have avoided. We have to avoid it. Making mistakes in this competition punishes you a lot.

"We know it. We spoke about it many times, not this week but the last years, many times. If we want to make a step forward as a team to be close to winning this competition, we have to be better in this area."

If City progress, Guardiola will become the first coach to defeat Zinedine Zidane in a European knockout tie after the Madrid boss masterminded a run of three Champions League triumphs in a row from 2015-16 to 2017-18.

"When you think that you've got one of his tactical plans covered, he'll hit you with another tactical plan or revert to the original one that you thought he was going to start with," he observed.

"In the dim and distant past, we played the first leg and what we can remember from the first leg we've put to good use.

"We spoke about that game and since then we've watched all Madrid's games since LaLiga restarted.

"We've spoken about how we think Madrid might approach this game. But what we've done more in these past two weeks is talked about what we can do – how we can hurt Madrid and areas we can cause problems for them."

Guardiola's preparations for the game have been thrown partially into flux by the news that teenage centre-back Eric Garcia has declined a new contract at City.

Garcia established himself as the first-choice partner for Aymeric Laporte over recent weeks but has been heavily linked with a return to his boyhood club Barcelona.

At the other end of the field, Sergio Aguero remains sidelined having undergone meniscus surgery, but Guardiola is not ruling out having City's all-time record scorer back for the final stages, should they negotiate Madrid.

"Right now, I don't know," he added. "He is still in Barcelona [where Aguero had the operation]. He is getting better. I spoke with the doctors and everything is like we thought.

"Hopefully he can come back and start training with us, but I don't know."

Eric Garcia appears keen to leave Manchester City after telling Pep Guardiola he does not want to sign a new contract.

The defender, whose deal expires at the end of next season, has been linked with a possible move to Barcelona.

Speaking ahead of City's Champions League clash with Real Madrid on Friday, manager Guardiola confirmed Garcia has turned down the opportunity of extending his stay at the Etihad Stadium.

"He announced to us he doesn't want to extend the contract with Manchester City," Guardiola told reporters.

"He has one more year. We want it, but he doesn't want to extend the contract."

Robert Lewandowski said Jurgen Klopp has "two faces" as a coach and father as the Bayern Munich star lauded the Premier League-winning Liverpool manager.

Klopp guided Liverpool to their first league title since 1990 this season, having overseen the club's Champions League triumph last term.

Lewandowski knows Klopp better than most after spending four seasons with the German at Borussia Dortmund, where the pair combined to win two Bundesliga titles, before the former joined Bayern in 2014.

Discussing his favourite manager, having also worked with Pep Guardiola, Poland striker Lewandowski singled out Klopp.

"I think ... Jurgen Klopp [is my favourite] and after that Pep Guardiola. 100 per cent," Lewandowski told ESPN in an Instagram Live interview.

"[Klopp] has two faces. You can see that he is kind of like a father, but the second part is like a coach, a manager. He can tell you everything – and I'm not speaking about the good things – about the bad things.

"Also for [players], he is a huge motivation. He makes this perfect, because he knows where there is this line where he can [push you] more or a little bit less.

"His performance as a coach is amazing, but not only as a coach but also as a man."

Lewandowski has scored 51 goals in all competitions in the best season of his career, helping Bayern to win the Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal, while a treble bid remains very much alive in the Champions League.

Bayern will face Chelsea in the second leg of their Champions League last 16-tie, having won the opening leg 3-0.

Wayne Rooney has suggested Alex Ferguson committed tactical suicide during Manchester United's two Champions League final losses to Barcelona.

Rooney became a European champion under Ferguson when United beat Chelsea on penalties in the 2008 final in Moscow but they fell at the last hurdle in their bid to retain the trophy the following season – running into Pep Guardiola's formidable Barca in Rome.

United had the chance to avenge that 2-0 loss in the Italian capital at Wembley in 2011 but, despite Rooney cancelling out Pedro's first-half opener, superb goals from Lionel Messi and David Villa saw the Blaugrana run out deserved 3-1 winners.

Rooney was discussing how best to approach crunch European nights in his Sunday Times column, previewing the forthcoming Champions League last-16 showdown between Manchester City and Real Madrid.

City hold a 2-1 advantage from the first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu but Rooney expects the pragmatic approach of three-time winner Zinedine Zidane to pose problems to Guardiola's current side – something that did not always come so easily to Ferguson.

"It's always hard for a club like Real to go into a game saying, 'We'll surrender the ball'," Rooney said

"It is the same for United. But we lost two Champions League finals going toe-to-toe with Guardiola's Barcelona, by trying to press high and get round them, which was suicidal.

"I remember Alex Ferguson saying, 'We're Man United and we're going to attack, it's in the culture of this football club' and thinking,' 'I'm not too sure about this'.

"I think all the players knew, deep down, it was the wrong approach, that we were abandoning the way that had brought us success in that 2008 semi-final — and sure enough both times we got outplayed.

"There is being true to the club, but then there's sitting back afterwards and thinking, 'We lost'.

"For me, it doesn't matter how you do it in these big Champions League games, as long as you win — look at how Liverpool ground it out in last year's final — and I think Zidane has the same mindset."

Rooney feels his old cross-city rivals are well placed to claim an elusive first Champions League crown, although doubts linger over a defence that has appeared suspect against elite opponents this season.

City have lost games against Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham across all competitions this season.

"Manchester City may never have a better chance to win the Champions League," he added. "Liverpool are out. In my opinion, Bayern Munich are not quite as good as in previous years, and City are 2-1 up against Real Madrid in the round of 16, going into a second leg at home.

"The Champions League is the competition that Pep Guardiola most wants to win and for City to take that next step as a club, this is the trophy they need.

"Friday's second leg at the Etihad is massive. Sergio Ramos is suspended, which is a huge loss to the Real defence, and I think City will score. Whether they are solid enough at the back themselves is my only question about Guardiola's side."

Mikel Arteta thanked Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola after Arsenal beat Chelsea 2-1 in the FA Cup final to give the head coach what he described as the best moment of his career.

Arteta left his position as City assistant in December after three years alongside Guardiola to take over from Unai Emery at Emirates Stadium.

The 38-year-old has enjoyed a successful first campaign at Arsenal, culminating in Saturday's win at Wembley to take their record tally of triumphs in the famous competition to 14.

And Arteta, who becomes the first Arsenal boss to win a major trophy in his first season in charge since George Graham in 1986-87, was quick to laud Guardiola.

"He has been a key figure in my development as a coach," he said at his post-match news conference. 

"He has my gratitude. I wouldn't be sitting here today without him. I have to thank him big time."

Arteta also had Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to thank after his double turned the all-London final around following Christian Pulisic's early opener for Chelsea.

The Spaniard, who said after the match he is optimistic Aubameyang will sign a contract extension, praised the club captain for another match-winning display.

"Big games require big moments for big players - he did that in the semi-final and now today," he said. 

"People questioning whether he can do it in big games and he's done it today."

Arsenal finished eighth in the Premier League - their lowest position since 1994-95 - but have earned a place in next season's Europa League thanks to their win over Chelsea.

Arteta is pleased with the steps his players have taken in his first eight months at the helm and is hopeful that his side can build on their latest domestic cup success.

"I think this is the best moment of my career because I know the difficulties we've been through," he said.

"I had one mission - make the players and staff believe that we could do it. Seeing the change in the dressing room is what makes me more proud.

"I completely understood the needs of this football club. I knew the challenges I was facing when I made a decision to come here and the expectations we will always have. 

"This is the first one. Let's enjoy it today. My players have been fantastic and the staff and everyone upstairs."

Arteta, who only ended his playing career with Arsenal in 2016, added: "I could write a book on my time here. Everyday has presented something different. 

"I'm very lucky the people I have around me for every decision I had to make. Until you are sitting in this seat, you don't know the responsibility you have to make. 

"I'm proud of what we've done."

Pep Guardiola regards Jurgen Klopp and his Liverpool side as the biggest challenge he has faced in his managerial career but says going up against Real Madrid made him a better coach.

Manchester City pipped the Reds to the 2018-19 Premier League title in a thrilling race last term but Guardiola's side finished a whopping 18 points adrift of their rivals this time around.

Klopp is a familiar foe on the touchline, with the German having been in charge of Borussia Dortmund during Guardiola's time at Bayern Munich.

Guardiola has faced many rivals as a coach, including legendary Clasico tussles with Jose Mourinho's Madrid during his stint as Barcelona boss.

But the Catalan cannot look beyond this Liverpool class under Klopp as the greatest obstacle he has come up against.

Speaking to DAZN, he said: "The toughest opponent I've faced in my career has been this Liverpool from the last year.

"They've dominated all the records. When you let yourself be dominated and confined in your area, you don't get out.

"When you dominate them, they run into space like nobody else.

"They are very fast going backwards. They are very strong strategically. Their players have great mental strength. [Klopp] is the rival who has made me think about how to beat him the most."

But Guardiola acknowledged the battles he had against Madrid bosses such as Manuel Pellegrini and Jose Mourinho improved his skills as a coach.

"I have always said that Real Madrid are a very strong team in my career, they helped me to become a better coach with tough matches and competitions with Jose Mourinho, Pellegrini and all the coaches they had," he added.

"If you ask me which has been the most difficult rival for me to face, it has been Liverpool. The first years when I arrived in England, Liverpool were a bit weaker than now and Real Madrid were stronger.

"Now, this Liverpool are the hardest I have come across in my coaching career."

Guardiola is set to come up against familiar foes Los Blancos next week when City face Madrid in the second leg of their delayed last-16 Champions League tie, which his side lead 2-1 from the first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Madrid won three straight European titles under Zinedine Zidane before the Frenchman left his position at the end of the 2017-18 campaign.

He returned to the Madrid hot seat in March 2019 and led Los Blancos to the title in LaLiga this term.

Guardiola is a huge admirer of Zidane's, adding: "Although people may not believe me because he is from Real Madrid, I am very happy that things are going well because it is very good for football that things go well for people like him.

"When he has done what he has done, winning three Champions Leagues in a row, taking two LaLiga titles from Barca when they - in this decade - have dominated this competition like no other club, it shows his ability."

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has dismissed the notion he and Frank Lampard could be considered the next Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp.

Arteta and Lampard go head to head at Wembley on Saturday in the FA Cup final, hoping to win the first trophies of their coaching careers.

Arsenal managed only to finish eighth in the Premier League this season but have won praise for positive signs of progress in their play, most notably in the FA Cup semi-final win over Manchester City.

Lampard, who took charge of Chelsea last year, steered the Blues to a top-four finish despite the restrictions of a one-window transfer ban and is now looking to lift a trophy he won four times for the London club in his playing days.

Arteta is full of admiration for Lampard but is not yet prepared to embrace the idea the pair are the natural successors to Klopp and Guardiola as the leading coaches in England.

"About Frank as a player, absolutely top," Arteta said on Friday. "I think the consistency he was able to play for that many years in the position he plays at such a big club and doing what he did was incredible. Big credit to him on that.

"As a manager, he has shown since Derby [County] the kind of ambition and person he has and the way he encourages his team to play. We are both young, both trying to learn our position so I wouldn't like to compare to the two managers you mention."

Arteta twice won the FA Cup as a player with Arsenal and admits victory on Saturday could prove an important step in his team's development.

"It generates trust when you're winning titles," he said. "It generates moments when together you go through good emotions. It brings everyone together, you have memories, there's a lot of things about winning a trophy that is so positive for any group and when you're in a process it makes it even more important. We have a great opportunity, so let's go for it."

Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud and Arsenal defender David Luiz are set to face their former clubs at Wembley.

Giroud has enjoyed a resurgence in recent weeks, scoring six goals in his past seven appearances in all competitions - including one in the 3-1 semi-final win over Manchester United.

"It's always good connections when these moments arrive," said Arteta. "You can see with Oli in the last few months, how he is performing, the amount of goals he is scoring for them. He has the experience in finals as well.

"In the case of David, such a special day for him to play his former club. Hopefully, he can do the performance he did in the semi-final against City."

Arteta has not been surprised by Giroud's strong form even though the France forward has often been compared unfavourably to great Arsenal strikers of the recent past, such as Thierry Henry and Robin van Persie.

"I'm not surprised because I know Oli and he's a fighter," he said. "When he played for Arsenal, he had some difficult moments, but he always reacted.

"Comparing him with the greatest is like always: they've done it, they did it for long periods, they were really successful at the club, so any comparison with them is always difficult. I'm glad he is doing really well and hopefully tomorrow he won't do that well."

Pep Guardiola's unrivalled knowledge of Spanish football will be key to Manchester City holding off the threat of Real Madrid in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie, according to Bernardo Silva.

City are aiming to triumph in Europe's elite club competition for the first time, but must first get past Madrid, the 13-time winners, who they lead 2-1 after the first leg in February.

Guardiola coached Madrid's bitter rivals Barcelona between 2008-2012 and Silva is confident the former Spain midfielder's experience can help City overcome Zinedine Zidane's side on August 7.

"There's nobody like him to help us against a Spanish team, especially one he knows so well," he told Marca. "Having him as our coach and playing against Real Madrid is a good thing. He has always been a coach who knows how to play against Real Madrid the best."

Madrid go into the clash at the Etihad Stadium having claimed a first LaLiga title since 2017 and Silva knows City will have to be at their very best to progress to the quarter finals.

"Since the restart Real Madrid have won almost all their games and, as a result, are the LaLiga champions," he added. "This will only spur them on and they will be fully prepared for this game.

"We have to be in very good shape ourselves and play really well because, if not, we won't go through. We know that we're coming up against a big team and we need to show all our qualities in order beat them."

"We know that we are playing against a massive club, one of the best in the world, but we are going to try and I believe that we also have a strong team that is capable of winning again."

City missed out on a Champions League semi-final spot last season after an away goals defeat to Tottenham in the last eight; a failure Silva says the club were desperate to rectify in this campaign.

"I think that the Champions League is a very complicated competition, but this year we have already done one thing against Real Madrid that didn't happen against Tottenham, which is scoring away goals," he said.

"Scoring two goals away at Real Madrid was so important and I believe that that was one of the big lessons about the match against Tottenham.

"Also, you must manage the game better when you have an advantage in a knockout game, as these little details can count for everything.

"Therefore, we are going to try to better what we have achieved in the previous two years in the Champions League, a competition that neither me nor the club has won before and we really want to do that this year."

Pep Guardiola is encouraged to see Manchester City's assist king Kevin De Bruyne scoring more goals himself.

The Belgium midfielder set up Raheem Sterling in Sunday's 5-0 win over relegated Norwich City, claiming his 20th assist of the campaign to match Thierry Henry's single-season record in the Premier League.

De Bruyne also netted twice himself – particularly sumptuously before half-time – as City broke through the 100-goal barrier.

It meant he finished with 13 Premier League goals, his most prolific return in England's top flight.

"We know the assists and the quality he has for this but we need his goals," Guardiola told a post-match news conference.

"Today he scored two brilliant goals. Of course, the first one is special."

Guardiola had no concerns over De Bruyne's pursuit of an individual record harming his overall performance.

"We tell them, play simple, play as you know. Don't be focused too much on achieving it because it will come along," he said.

"He made one assist but could have easily broken the record. Now he is going to share it with Titi Henry. He played really good.

"The individual target, the focus to achieve something. It's good. Athletes always want to overcome and be better and benefit for the team."

De Bruyne was not the only City player to chalk up leading individual numbers this season, with Ederson's 16th clean sheet winning him the Premier League Golden Glove.

It is an honour Guardiola felt the Brazil international earned in a sharp outing at the Etihad Stadium – his save in a one-on-one from Teemu Pukki particularly impressive.

"It's so nice, but I think today he deserves it because he made two incredible saves. Without him it would not be possible," Guardiola added.

"He made a really good season and he deserves what he has done. We are so happy for this award."

David Silva was granted a warm ovation from his team-mates and City's backroom staff when he made way on his final Premier League performance.

The former Spain playmaker still has a shot at Champions League glory next month as he brings down the curtain on a glorious decade in Manchester and, when fans are allowed back into stadiums, Guardiola is sure Silva will be granted a more fitting farewell.

"It was the smallest standing ovation of all time," he chuckled. "He will come back to receive the standing ovation he deserves from our fans.

"I have the feeling that they want to do it. I think what the players and staff have done shows the gratitude and honour that he has to have for these incredible 10 years he has done at this club.

"We wanted to say thank you for what he has done for this club."

Pep Guardiola does not believe Manchester City need to reflect on previous Champions League exits or their failed Premier League title defence as they prepare for Real Madrid.

City are aiming to triumph in Europe's elite club competition for the first time in 2019-20 but must first get past Madrid, the 13-time winners, who they lead 2-1 after their last-16 first leg.

Recent seasons have seen Guardiola's side thrashed by Liverpool and lose agonisingly to Tottenham in the knockout stages, despite dominating the Premier League.

This term, however, Liverpool streaked clear in the league, leaving City to reflect on an underwhelming domestic campaign in which they also ceded their FA Cup title.

It was put to Guardiola that his team would not be short of motivating factors as they look to finally deliver the European crown, but the Catalan manager insists such contemplation is unnecessary.

"What I want is to do a good game," Guardiola said. "It's absolutely a final. For us, for Madrid, it's a final.

"The plan will be to avoid making mistakes and to play a football game like we [can].

"I think what happened in the past is not going to make you play better. What happened in the past is the past. Sometimes it is what it is. Accept it.

"It's life. It's not perfect, it doesn't work perfect for all of us, in our private lives, in our professional lives either.

"The motivation is to go through, to prove to ourselves we can do a good game and beat Real Madrid. That is the only thing you are able to do.

"What happened in the past will not give you an advantage or something special for the future, for the game against Real Madrid.

"It's only if we play a good game in all departments, with all the issues we have to work on in these two weeks, that is going to give the opportunity to win the game and go through."

Asked if his players have the required hunger, Pep replied with a laugh: "If they don't have it, we will have a problem. We will not go through.

"This game is about the desire. It's Real Madrid. We know the quality they have in all departments. The players know the European leagues, they know.

"They were sitting there watching the last finals of the Champions League when Madrid was there. They know it. It's not necessary to tell them something special.

"We are going to talk a little bit about what we are going to do in this game. It's nothing special from what we've done this season. The tactics are not going to win this game, the tactics or something special.

"It's the energy that we have inside all of us, the club, all of us. That will give us more opportunity to go through - nothing more than this.

"I think with this kind of game, the special games, you know the desire of every single player to try to win."

Pep Guardiola hopes to see progress from Manchester City against Norwich City as they prepare for their Champions League last-16 second leg against Real Madrid.

EFL Cup winners City lost their Premier League crown and could not retain the FA Cup but may yet triumph in Europe's elite club competition for the first time.

Guardiola's side lead Madrid 2-1 after the first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu in February, meaning they need only protect their advantage to reach the eight-team finals tournament in Lisbon.

But the manager was concerned by the FA Cup defeat to Arsenal last weekend and still saw room for improvement in a 4-0 midweek thrashing of Watford as he considers his Champions League team selection.

With City on 97 league goals ahead of the Norwich game on the final day, Guardiola told reporters: "It's nice to score goals, but we cannot deny it is not enough to finish [higher].

"We are 18 points behind Liverpool, so we have to analyse what happened and every game must be a target. Maybe scoring 100 goals will help to win the game.

"Then we will see the players preparing the game against Madrid; this game against Norwich and the way they train this week, we are going to pay attention to prepare to play against Madrid.

"Every day will be an exam for me to see who is ready to play this game. I would say against Arsenal we were not ready. Against Watford, it was a little bit better, but we still need to improve."

Sergio Aguero has been a doubt for the Madrid game following knee surgery, yet Guardiola appeared to provide a boost as he named no injury absentees for that match.

"Everyone will be fit for Madrid, hopefully - except [Benjamin] Mendy who is suspended," said Guardiola, making no mention of City's record goalscorer.

Pep Guardiola offered glowing praise of Kevin De Bruyne but congratulated Jordan Henderson, the man who pipped the Manchester City midfielder to the Football Writers' Association's (FWA) Footballer of the Year award.

Henderson captained Liverpool to the Premier League title and earned more than a quarter of the FWA votes as a result.

De Bruyne - enjoying another sterling campaign at City - was among the closest contenders, and his contributions were acknowledged by Guardiola in a news conference ahead of the campaing-closing clash with Norwich City.

"[De Bruyne] speaks for himself with what he gives to our team and to the Premier League," the manager said. "It is not necessary to say what a fantastic player he is.

"At the same time, congratulations to the Liverpool captain for the award - he is a really good player."

De Bruyne could catch Thierry Henry's season record of 20 Premier League assists on Sunday, a tally he stands one shy of as things stand.

Guardiola added: "He enjoys to make assists. I would love for Kevin to score goals but he enjoys making assists too.

"I think in the last period he is enjoying taking free-kicks and penalties and taking this responsibility.

"The numbers are incredible - not just this season but also the year when we won 100 points. He was incredible and I will never forget how he played when we achieved this incredible milestone."

De Bruyne has been a key figure at the Etihad Stadium since his 2015 arrival, but he may need to be even more influential next season as captain David Silva departs.

"We will see [if he becomes the leader]," Guardiola said. "The players make these roles on and off the pitch - it depends on what they want, not the manager.

"I think these things are won with the respect on and off the pitch. You can't assign these roles. It comes naturally."

Silva is set to make his final Premier League appearance, and Guardiola said of his skipper: "[He is] extraordinary, the amount of games, the huge quality he's played with, the titles he helped [to win].

"He is another player alongside six or seven players who made this club what it is now."

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